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Ryan VandenBussche (born February 28, 1973) is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey forward who played fourteen years professional hockey, nine National Hockey League (NHL) seasons with the New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Pittsburgh Penguins. He is best known for his pugilistic skills.

Ryan VandenBussche
Born (1973-02-28) February 28, 1973 (age 46)
Simcoe, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 202 lb (92 kg; 14 st 6 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shot Right
Played for New York Rangers
Chicago Blackhawks
Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL Draft 173rd overall, 1992
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1993–2007

Playing careerEdit

Drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft, 8th round, 173rd overall, VandenBussche spent his first seasons playing for various OHL and AHL teams.

On August 22, 1995, he was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the New York Rangers. After two seasons in the AHL with the Rangers' farm team, the Binghamton Rangers, VandenBussche finally made his NHL debut for the 1996–97 season playing 11 games.

The very next season, 1997–98, VandenBussche was split between four different teams in three different leagues. He played three games for the Indianapolis Ice of the IHL, fifteen games for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL, sixteen games for the New York Rangers of the NHL, and since the Rangers traded him for Ryan Risidore on March 29, 1998, four games for the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL.

VandenBussche remained a Blackhawk until the Pittsburgh Penguins signed him as an unrestricted free agent on July 12, 2004. On September 25, 2006, Jokerit of SM-liiga signed the forward for a try-out, which was terminated on November 5. After his tryout, VandenBussche signed with the New Mexico Scorpions as a player/coach, but retired in January for medical reasons.[1]

VandenBussche was not known as a goal scorer or play maker; in 310 NHL games, he scored 10 goals and 10 assists. VandenBussche's role was as an enforcer. He has the distinction of being pound for pound one of the toughest enforcers at the NHL level, and the man who ended the career of Nick Kypreos in a pre-season game in 1997.[2][3]

Post careerEdit

In 2006 VandenBussche was charged with assault after he assaulted multiple officers and uttered death threats. He was cleared of the charges in 2008 due to a successful argument that his multiple concussions during his hockey career and a shove during the altercation rendered him a "non-insane automaton".[4]

VandenBussche and his wife Lisa currently sell real-estate with his father Ron as Team VandenBussche with ReMax Erie Shores in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. Ryan is the founder of a charity called Stix n Pix which promotes the development of grass-roots hockey and music within the community and surrounding area.[5] He has also partnered with Canadian Tire First Shift Program, which is an initiative to help get youth involved in hockey.[6]

VandenBussche was awarded the civilian Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service in 2017 for his multiple visits to overseas military bases, starting with a ball hockey game in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2010.[7]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1990–91 Cornwall Royals OHL 49 3 8 11 139
1991–92 Cornwall Royals OHL 61 13 15 28 230 6 0 2 2 9
1992–93 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 1 0 0 0 0
1992–93 Newmarket Royals OHL 30 15 12 27 161
1992–93 Guelph Storm OHL 29 3 14 17 99 5 1 3 4 13
1993–94 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 44 4 10 14 124
1993–94 Springfield Indians AHL 9 1 2 3 29 5 0 0 0 16
1994–95 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 53 2 13 15 239 3 0 0 0 17
1995–96 Binghamton Rangers AHL 68 3 17 20 240 4 0 0 0 9
1996–97 Binghamton Rangers AHL 38 8 11 19 133
1996–97 New York Rangers NHL 11 1 0 1 30
1997–98 Indianapolis Ice IHL 3 1 1 2 4
1997–98 Hartford Wolf Pack AHL 15 2 0 2 45
1997–98 New York Rangers NHL 16 1 0 1 38
1997–98 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 4 0 1 1 5
1998–99 Portland Pirates AHL 37 4 1 5 119
1998–99 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 6 0 0 0 17
1998–99 Indianapolis Ice IHL 34 3 10 13 130
1999–00 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 52 0 1 1 143
2000–01 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 64 2 5 7 146
2001–02 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 50 1 2 3 103 1 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 22 0 0 0 58
2002–03 Norfolk Admirals AHL 4 0 1 1 5
2003–04 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 65 4 1 5 120
2004–05 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins AHL 23 4 7 11 77 11 2 2 4 11
2005–06 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 20 1 0 1 42
2006–07 Jokerit FNL 15 0 0 0 39
2006–07 New Mexico Scorpions CHL 9 0 3 3 29
NHL totals 310 10 10 20 702 1 0 0 0 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "VandenBussche retires". scorpionshockey.com. 2006-09-20. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  2. ^ "Kypreos, VandenBussche on concussions". sportsnet.ca. March 25, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Campbell, Morgan (March 10, 2011). "A history of violence". The Toronto Star. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  4. ^ Oliveira, Michael (July 11, 2008). "Former NHL enforcer cleared of assault charges". The Toronto Star. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  5. ^ "Simcoe real estate". youronlineagents.com. 2007-03-20. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  6. ^ Robinson, Jacob (January 30, 2018). "Local skaters on Cloud 9". simcoereformer.ca. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  7. ^ Robinson, Jacob (24 January 2017). "VandenBussche honoured by Canadian Forces". Simcoe Reformer. Retrieved 11 February 2017.

External linksEdit